Institut Professionnel des Comptables
et Fiscalistes Agréés
Loi du 22 avril 1999
Advisory role
The advisory role of the accounting professional (- tax expert)

  • Upon start of a business or a company
  • Upon the preparation of a business plan
  • Upon the evaluation of a company and its shares
  • Concerning company law
  • Concerning taxation
  • Concerning social matters
  • Concerning management of a company, or for companies in trouble
  • Concerning environmental legislation
  • Concerning the legal statute of a business and succession
  • In the area of obtaining premiums, subsidies or compensation

Upon the start up of a business or a company

Launching a business can be risky and success is not always guaranteed. Its success will partly depend on the attitude and skills of the starter. Knowing what it takes to start up a business will also be a key factor in the success. It is here that the accounting professional (-tax-expert) will play a vital part. He/she will provide the starter with all necesessary information about permits and licences, the multiple tax and social obligations that must be fulfilled, liability and other insurances etc and will assit with the different registration procedures.

Article 51 of the Act of 22nd April1999 concerning the accounting and tax professions has allocated accounting professionals the possibility to give start-ups a first adivce, this without chargig a fee, in the course of their first year of activity. The National Council laid down the basic criteria and organisation for this pro deo service in a directive of 8th June 2001.

Preparation of a business plan

The founders of certain types of companies are obliged by law (Companies Act) to deposit before the acting notary a business plan in which they justify the amount of the working capital of the company to be established. Such a business plan is not required in order to start a business as an individual, but it is of course useful for everyone that starts a business and therefore strongly recommended.

Ideally this business plan will consist of a detailed profit and loss account, the financial planning, and a provisional balance sheet, for the first two or three years of activity. The business plan is based on various data such as the business objectives, the organisation of the business, the characteristics of the market and the existing competition, the pros and cons of the chosen products and services as well as the staff needs that are anticipated.

  • Download an example of a business plan (see French or Dutch version)

    Evaluating a company and its shares

    Various circumstances - in particular a transfer, a merger or a aquisition - demand for an evaluation of the company and its shares.

    The accounting professional (-tax-expert) is aware of various formulas and techniques in order to determine the book value and the actual economic value of a company. He/she is particularly skilled at assessing the quality of the available data and interpreting the results bearing in mind the various psychological or intangible components.

    Adviser concerning company law

    The accounting professional (tax-expert) can give detailed information about company regulation and its application, on formation, during daily operations, or on conversion, merger or split of companies.

    Adviser in tax matters

    Due to the fact that the accounts made up by the accounting professional will also serve as the basis for the calculation of the due income or corporation tax, one of the main missions of the accounting professional(-tax-expert) will concist in providing advice in all tax matters, assist invididuals and companies in complying with their tax obligations and act as their agent towards the tax authorities.

    Adviser concerning social matters

    Social security and the obligations imposed by the National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-Employed and the mutual insurance companies, the returns to be filed, the withholdings to be effected, the contributions to be paid, the documents, affidavits and certificates to be provided, the obligatory affiliations, the correct due dates that must be borne in mind, etc.

    The accounting professional (-tax-expert) daily monitors the evolutions in these matters and can therefore provide precise information, practical advice and the necessary assistance.

    Adviser concerning business management or for companies in trouble

    Managerial and organisational errors can cause a business to get tangled up in a web of difficulties. Here, too, the accounting professional (tax-expert) can be the perfect adviser. This not only when it comes to the (re-)organisation of the accounting department; but also with regard to other departments of a company. The accounting professional(-tax-expert) looks at a company from the outside, with a new, objective and creative vision en can thus provide valuable assistance in putting the business back on the right track.

    At the moment at which a company is in trouble it can propose a corporate voluntary arrangement. To do this it must first of all possess a maximum amount of information in order to be able to elaborate a plan for recovery. The accounting professional (-tax-expert) can play a significant role here.

  • More information about the Corporate Voluntary Arrangement Act
  • See also Centrum voor Bedrijven in moeilijkheden / Centre for companies in trouble in Brussels (see Dutch or French version)

    Adviser concerning environmental legislation

    Concern for the environment has led to a large and very diverse set of Acts, Bye-laws and regional and local regulations. The failure to adhere to this legislation can have serious consequences for a business. Here too, businesses can avoid errors or even fatal negligence with the aid of a accounting professional (- tax-expert).

    Adviser concerning the legal statute of a business and its succession

    How can a business become a "company" in a smooth manner? Has the manager made provisions for his succession? Answering these and other questions can give rise to particularly delicate accounting and tax problems. Many managers think of these matters at the last minute, if at all. The accounting professional (- tax-expert) can give vital and important advice in these matters.

    Guide to obtain premiums, subsidies and contributions

    Various governing bodies, such as the European Union, the Federal Government, regional governments and agencies, cities and municipalities give tax credits and created all kinds of financial assistance measures for SME’s. The goal of this is to encourage investments, export efforts, the use of sustainable energy sources, the training of staff, the creation of jobs, the application of high level technology, the protection of the environment, and research and development activities.

    Obtaining these premiums or tax credits is frequently preceded by relatively complicated procedures that require time, cleverness and perseverance. The accounting professional (tax-expert) can certainly help.

    Possible sites where you can click to obtain more information include the following:

  • Information and links concerning subsidies country organised per country according to type, objective, sector and the like can be found at the European site Support Measures Database.

  • Dernière mise à jour le 12/12/2012 21:29:38
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